The invasion has begun. I am at war with the field mice. In ten years of life in this house I have never seen so many mice, chipmunks, squirrels, skunks and raccoons. The roads are littered with their little bodies but it is the mice that I am particularly vexed with at the moment. Ever since I filled the garage with wood and the weather turned chilly they have invaded my space, taking up residence and boldly racing along the edges of my consciousness. I pull into the garage and they scatter. This morning as I was making coffee, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and watched a tiny gray beast slip under the pantry door.
“Did you see that Alice! Where is Skeedles? Why aren’t you two keeping up with this problem? They are eating YOUR food, not mine!!”
Alice looked expectantly at the “door to heaven” where her meals are prepared and as the tail was disappearing. “How about you feed me and there will be less for them to eat?”
I’m a total wimp when it comes to this part of living in the country. I know of only two ways to rid my life of unwanted guests of this species, and neither is nice. Those old-fashioned snap traps are efficient and cheap. You can purchase an entire militia’s worth for roughly two bucks. Add your own peanut butter, choose an appropriate site, and you are good to go. Then you hear the snap. Or worse, have to check them only to find a guillotined body which now must be disposed of. I opted for a lovely, sleek new design. Round, black plastic domes, inviting little igloos of death that snap closed; no body, no fuss no muss. Except for that tell-tale tail caught in the door of the trap. Ewwww!
I don’t really want to come face to face with their death, it would be nice if they would just relocate. Obviously, the current inhabitants – a dog AND a cat – are no deterrent. The plastic traps are $4.00 each. Within the first hour of setting them, they were full. This was beginning to look like an expensive war, time for cheaper artillery. Chemical warfare was appealing. Some in-the-know folks advised two drawbacks to poison:
- “They die in the walls and stink up the house up forEVER!”
- The pets might encounter and interact with said toxic mice and this could be potentially disastrous
So I did some research. There is one product I can use in the garage with the nastiest of consequences for the rodents but neither of the aforementioned side affects. The mice dehydrate and desperately seek water though no amount can stop the death. Since all their fluids dry up quickly, they turn to dust-bunnies and there is no smell. As far as the other pets? Hell, if they aren’t phased by them in the kitchen I doubt a really slow one will even get a look. The dispenser is an attractive little plastic box with a clear window that shows how much of the bait has been consumed. They’ve thought of everything to calm my nerves.
With the days growing shorter, the lights come on sooner. Ghostly shadows taunt me. “Was that a mouse or a trick of the light?” I shell out the cash and bait the coffins. Two days later they are still showing “set” on their little covers, but the poison is slowly disappearing. Maybe I have won?!?!